Leah Remini Slips Into Scientologist Danny Masterson’s Retrial Hearing

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Actor Danny Masterson was in L.A. Superior Criminal court Monday morning as one of three women who say they were raped at his Hollywood Hills home came to court with Leah Remini by her side to argue that she had been intimidated by Scientologists during the first trial of the That ’70s Show star, which ended with a hung jury in November.

Judge Charlaine Olmedo heard the allegation from Jane Doe 1’s lawyer, which prompted defense attorney Phillip Cohen to object, telling the court if anyone had been threatened in the courthouse it would have been caught on security video. Olmedo said she had not heard of any harassment during the 2022 trial and it would be inappropriate for the victim to remain in the courtroom while prosecutors and Masterson’s defense argued in limine motions in advance of the scheduled April 11 retrial.

With that, Remini and Jane Doe 1 vacated the courthouse past Masterson, who is a prominent Scientologist, as he sipped on a Starbucks iced coffee at the defense table next to his lawyer, his wife, actor Bijou Phillips, who sat behind him in the gallery, and Church of Scientology counsel Vicki Podberesky.

Cohen argued to the judge that any and all evidence related to the Church of Scientology and its practices and doctrines along with its alleged wrongdoing and any expert testimony regarding the same, and any evidence of purported harassment of the Jane Does should be excluded from the retrial, saying that it could prejudice a jury. The three accusors, an ex-girlfriend, a friend, and a new acquaintance—all former Scientologists—claimed the actor stalked them and that church members had poisoned one accuser’s dogs—an accusation which was never proven.

“I’m at the vet dealing with another hurt animal. This is what I’ve been finding in my front and backyard. This is what Scientology does when you speak about the predators they protect,” the alleged victim wrote in an Instagram post.

Cohen also wants the proffered statements tossed from two additional Jane Does who came forward with sexual assault allegations against Masterson, including a claim from a woman in Toronto who says the actor drugged and raped her at a 2000 after-party.

“It’s hard to prove a negative that occurred 23 years ago,” he told the court Monday, adding that the accusor, known in court records as Kathleen J., didn’t report the alleged rape to Toronto police until 2021 when Masterson’s case was seen all over social media, in the news and the women filed a civil suit.

It was only then, Cohen argued, that the “rape by drugs allegation,” was made, which closely mirrored the statements made by the three Jane Doe accusers, which put Masterson behind bars. The idea that the woman was drugged is prejudicial, he argued, adding: “The jury is so inflamed by the drugging—that becomes the impetus for a conviction.”

L.A. Deputy District Attorney Reinhold Mueller shot back that there were any similarities in Kathleen J.’s description of what she calls a drugging rape aren’t because she colluded with his other accusers, but because she recalled her own trauma and came forward.

“She is not part of any civil lawsuit. She did not have any substantial prior contact with the victims. She is not a Scientologist,” he argued to the judge.

Olmedo said she will rule on Cohen’s motions on Tuesday. Masterson is facing up to 45 years in prison if convicted at his new trial.

Content retrieved from: https://www.lamag.com/citythinkblog/leah-remini-slips-into-scientologist-danny-mastersons-retrial-hearing/.

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